Bishop Vladimir Gnica

I was reading a book titled, “Holy Fire; From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire” by Michael Brown and a little passage about a certain man has really impacted my life.

Bishop Vladimir Gnica was a believer who was imprisioned in the Solviet Union because of his faith. He was made to walk his cell constantly and only given a mat seven hours a day to rest or sleep. If he quit walking he was beaten or hosed down with cold water. This went on for twenty years. After twenty years he was sent to a labour camp in Siberia where he lived another three years before going home to be with the Lord.

He is noted for saying these words…

“Lord, take my heart and never give it back to me. Why was I born if not to love you passionately?”

I’m not there yet. I’m like everybody else who tends to compare themselves with others instead of comparing themselves with Jesus and the saints of old. In the days of the apostles the Greek word for witness meant martyr. In those days I’ve read that the leadership considered themselves wheat to be sown. They knew their deaths would produce 30, 60 and a hundred fold harvest. They knew leadership meant laying down their lives for the brethren. I can’t help wondering if I am doing all I can to carry the torch for the next generation.

Lord help me to pick up my cross daily and follow you where ever you lead. I too want to be found faithful in all things. I want to know Jesus Christ and him crucified. I appreciate all you’ve done in my life, Lord, but please don’t stop. In Jesus’s name I ask these things, Amen. (Matthew 10:38, 1 Corinthians 4:2, Philippians 3:8, Romans 8:29)